Celiac.com 04/15/2011 - Celiac disease is associated with various autoimmune and neurological diseases. A team of researchers recently completed a study on the prevalence of celiac disease in a prospective series of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients and their first-degree relatives.
They are affiliated variously with the departments of Gastroenterology, Immunology Services and Neurology at the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA) in Oviedo, Spain.
For the study, the team analyzed the prevalence of serological, histological and genetic celiac disease markers in 72 MS patients and 126 of their first-degree relatives. They then compared their results with data from 123 healthy control subjects.
The results showed 7 MS patients (10%) with positive screens for tissue IgA-anti-transglutaminase-2 antibodies, compared with just 3 positive screens for healthy controls (2.4%) (p < 0.05). OR: 5.33 (CI-95%: 1.074-26.425).
The team found no difference in HLA-DQ2 markers between MS patients (29%) and controls (26%) (NS). The team found 8 MS patients (11.1%) with mild or moderate villous atrophy (Marsh III type) in duodenal biopsies. Results also showed celiac disease in 23 of 126 first-degree relatives (32%).
The data showed several other associated diseases, especially dermatitis 41 (57%) and iron deficiency anemia in 28 (39%) MS patients.
MS patients also showed increased frequency of circulating auto-antibodies such as anti-TPO in 19 (26%), ANA in 11 (15%) and AMA in 2 (3%).
The increased prevalence of celiac disease in MS patients and in their first-degree relatives suggests that early detection and dietary treatment of celiac disease in antibody-positive MS patients is advisable.